Matthew Clendennen, a member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, was one of the 177 bikers arrested on May 17 at the Twin Peaks shooting in Waco. The shooting left nine dead and more than 20 wounded. A total of 154 bikers were indicted on charges ranging from organized criminal activity to murder.
Since that day last year, Clendennen’s been under a court gag order prohibiting him from speaking with media about anything involving the shooting or his charges. But Wednesday morning, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals lifted the gag order.
It’s a little more than a year after his arrest, and Clendennen has yet to go to trial. He says he feels somewhat vindicated now that the gag order has been lifted.
“It’s been a constant wanting of the truth to be able to get out there,” he says. “I think every little step in this process in our favor is a little bit of a victory.”
Clendennen says he was at Twin Peaks that day with a group of friends. They were there for a biker community meeting, some lunch and a ride. Clendennen says he wasn’t armed.
When shots were fired, Clendennen panicked.
“It’s not something I’d ever been around, and so whenever I heard that first shot I ran into the hallway inside the restaurant,” he says.
“Went in through a side door and basically stayed there until law enforcement came inside and escorted everybody out.”
Clendennen used to own a landscape management company, but he says since the shooting, he sold the business and is trying to make a fresh start.
“It’s been kinda rough,” Clendennen says. “(I’m) just looking at the future and hopefully having some chance of putting this behind me.”
Web post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.